Dororo and The Assembly

Dororo is screening downtown at the IFC, as is The Assembly – and Strawberry Shortcakes, all part of the NYAFF.

I’ve seen clips of Dororo on YouTube, and it looks faaaan-tastic.  I’ll wait to give a definite thumbs-up or down until I’ve seen the movie in its entirety.  CGI doesn’t always do well in the hands of Japanese and Chinese directors (read: too much of a good thing) but Shinobi: Heart Under Blade based on the Basilisk manga was phenomenal and that movie relied heavily on CGI effects.

Hopefully we’ll see the same in Dororo.  Dororo is another of Tezuka’s works.  Vertical just came out with it earlier this year and will finish up the release with the third and final volume in August.  It’s cool that they decided to serialize this one and I do like Mendelsohn’s cover designs, but the greedy kid in me wants it all at once ala Ode to Kirihito, MW and Apollo Song.  Actually, Apollo Song was pretty heavy and I could have used that in serial installments.

But Dororo is fun.  It feels a little all over the place in the whole sidekick thing.  The manga is about a young man who is recovering the 48 parts of his body that were stolen from him by demons.  But it’s titled after the bratty street urchin who becomes his sidekick.

Sometimes, when I read Dororo, I feel confused.  But it’s very readable and because of that, it’s enjoyable.  Tezuka really was a craftsman – and I don’t mean that as an insult.  I think being an artisan is at the heart of being an artist.  Not many truly understand how to use the tools of the trade, but Tezuka – this guy can make manga in his sleep.

The other movie I’m going to see is The Assembly which is a Chinese movie, but done in collaboration with a Korean cinematographer – the one who did Korea’s Tae Guk Gi back in 200_I can’t remember, but sometime earlier this decade.  The Assembly is a WWII movie and I’ve never seen a Chinese WWII movie.  Outside of propaganda, I don’t know that they’re a staple in Chinese movies, so I’m excited to see this one.  The enduring suck-it-up Chinese sentiment paired with the visceral eye for suffering.  It’s like human drama on human drama – a human drama sundae.  Hopefully I’ll feel less raped and haunted after watching The Assembly, than I did while watching Dog Bite Dog (a HK+Korea movie).

I don’t know that I’ll really be able to sit through the entire thing.  I tend to cry a lot in the movies, and rather loudly, which can be a real pain for other viewers.  But I’ll try to grieve more quietly today, and bring extra tissues.


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